Tang Thu Lau - National Library
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Considered the National Library of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty, where rare documents related to court life and the country's transformation are stored, Tang Thu Lau (also known as the Tang Tho Lau) is a unique and important work in the Complex of Hue Monuments.
Address: 346 Dinh Tien Hoang street, Thuan Thanh Ward, Hue City
Opening Time: Morning from 8h00 to 10h00; Afternoon from 14h00 to 16h00 (Monday - Thursday every week (except holidays, Tet).
Status: Reconstructed
Price: Free


Tang Thu Lau was built in the summer of 1825, during the reign of King Minh Mang. At that time, the court had assigned the Marshal Doan Duc Luan to command 1.000 soldiers to build this special project.

After the construction of the Tang Thu Lau, King Minh Mang erected a stele in 1826, recording the purpose, function and meaning of the construction of the Tang Thu Lau.
Tang Thu Lau is a relic of important documents and dispatches in the Nguyen Dynasty; a place to store and preserve documents of the ministries: Lai, Bo, Le, Cong, Hoc, and Binh were made from the reign of Emperor Gia Long onwards; treaties signed with France on land, the right to rule in the North, Central, and South; diplomatic documents with Chinese dynasties... Particularly, the number of dispatches, bibliographies, old books of 6 ministries after each year must be brought to the Tang Thu Lau to store and be called the "Thuong nien sach tich", that is, the book of the past year. Before 1945, only the records of Gia Long and Minh Mang emperors stored up to 12.000 volumes.

According to the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, the Museum currently owns more than 70.000 books and document units, in many different genres and forms such as Han Nom books, ancient documents, compendiums of the Nguyen Dynasty, Fine Arts books, Architecture, Culture, Buddhism, Religion, Beliefs, Linguistics, maps, images... It can be said that this is a rather large archive. The storage system of Tang Thu Lau will be continuously updated, supplemented and diversified in all types of documents.

In addition to the main ministries of the Nguyen Dynasty, in the ancient bibliographic system of Vietnam, we try to select books with high historical value such as the history and culture: Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu, Lich Trieu Tap Kỹ (Ngo Cao Lang), Nam Ha Tiep Luc (Le Dan), Van Dai Loai Ngu, Kien Van Tieu Luc (Le Quy Don), Su Hoc Bi Khao, Viet Su Cuong Muc Tiet Yeu (Dang Xuan Ban), Quoc Su Di Bien (Phan Thuc Truc), Lich Trieu Hien Chuong Loai Chi (Phan Huy Chu), Quoc Trieu Chanh Bien Toat Yeu (Cao Xuan Duc)...

Tang Thu Lau seen from above (Photo: The Hue Of Hue)


Considered the National Library of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty, which stores rare written documents related to the life of the court and the transformation of the country, Tang Thu Lau is a unique and important work in the Complex of Hue Monuments. Today, Tang Thu Lau is in operation as an address to study, preserve and sustainably preserve the heritages (Moc Ban Nguyen Dynasty, Chau Ban Nguyen Dynasty and Poetry on the royal architecture) for the future.


The overall architecture of Tang Thu Lau was designed very scientifically to meet the function of storing and preserving the important books and papers of the court. In particular, to avoid the spread of fire, as well as to protect the original material of the country, the building is designed to be built on the island in the middle of the lake, including 2 massive floors, built of brick and stone, in addition to lime plastering, walls with a thickness of 0,4m, terracotta tile roofs. The upper floor has 7 compartments of 2 wings, with many doors around, the compartments communicate with each other by 3 doors. Around the building, the guardrail is ventilated to allow air to circulate to avoid moisture. The lower floor has 11 compartments, all around are built with balustrades, 4 sides of the floor build a square lake called Hoc Hai Lake. This is a square lake, which is a part of the old flow of the Kim Long River, remodeled under King Gia Long, the floating island in the middle of the lake is used as a storehouse of gunpowder and salt. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge built of bricks and stones on the western shore of the lake. Four sides of the lake built low brick walls. With a structure built entirely of stone bricks, mortar lime, Tang Thu Lau is a very different work compared to hundreds of wooden structures at that time.

Route Guide:

From the center of Hue City, visitors cross Truong Tien Bridge, enter Ngan Gate, continue to turn right onto Doan Thi Diem street and go straight; to Nhat Le street, turn right, meet the intersection of Dinh Tien Hoang street, then turn left, continue straight to 346 Dinh Tien Hoang. Inside Tang Thu Lau there is a parking space.

Experience Guide:

Coming to Tang Thu Lau - National Library, people and visitors can freely visit and learn about this special monument. The Museum is open from Monday to Thursday every week (Morning from 8am to 10am; Afternoon from 2pm to 4pm), is an ideal destination for reading books and looking up documents on Hue culture in the Nguyen Dynasty. More than 4.000 photos collected from many different sources are vividly recreated here to help viewers imagine the royal palace of the Nguyen Dynasty. At the same time, this is also an ideal check-in point with a typical reading space and nostalgic dark corridors.

Experiencing activities at Tang Thu Lau (Photo: Bao Minh)